Feeding the poor1
'Daan Utsav' - is India's own festival of giving, celebrated every year from October 2-8. It is also known as the “Joy of Giving” week. This year, Sri Arunodayam celebrated Daan Utsav by sharing “time, talent, and treasure” with the less fortunate - spreading and receiving tons of joy in the bargain!
Here’s a quick recap of programs we ran from Oct 2 – 8, 2016.
1. Share a Meal – Feeding the Homeless: Every day, from the 2nd to the 8th, our young adults and caregivers cooked and distributed hot meals to the homeless in Kolathur and Red Hills. Both the givers and the receivers shared warm and happy moments together!
2. Rally for a Cause - Creating awareness about the mentally challenged among the public: On the 3rd, our children and staff conducted a rally at the Pudhur Bus Stand helping educate the general public on mental retardation. It attracted the attention we hoped to stir as people kept coming up to ask questions and initiate conversations.
3. Outreach across Chennai – Educating the Educated: Every day, from the 2nd to the 8th, we conducted information campaigns by setting up stalls at Olympia Tech Park and IOC Bunks carrying our literature, and products for sale made by our young adults at Prayatna. We just wanted people to know that the mentally challenged are perfectly capable of becoming productive members of society with a little care and help!
4. Outreach to Village Homes – Raising rice for underprivileged people in surrounding villages: Through our “Power of 1” campaign, we collected 3000 kilos of rice during the Daan Utsav week, which was distributed to orphanages and old age homes in villages. We chose these homes because they have critical needs which remain unmet just because they lack the visibility! (Special thanks to all our good donors and to the Lions Club and Lioness Councils for making this program a huge success.)
5. Teach a Skill – Sharing skills with young mothers in distress: On the 5th, our youngsters from Prayatna visited the Cancer Institute and taught 40 mothers of children with cancer, how to make lovely paper bags. It was a great sharing and learning experience for the mothers and our boys as well. Thank you Chennai Volunteers Team and Rinku Suri Mecheri for providing this wonderful opportunity!
6. Fruit on Friday – Sharing fruits with Gypsy and Irular Children: On the 7th, we distributed fruit to gypsy and Irular children who come from very impoverished backgrounds. Without good nutrition it is difficult for these children to actually get through school. Although what we did appears to be a drop in the ocean, on the 7th, every child had a stomach full of healthy fruit!
“Fruit on Friday” Program – Sharing fruits with Gypsy and Irular Children
Other good things happened too!
Koyambedu fruit and vegetable vendors join our campaign!
On the 4th, we took our campaign to the fruit and vegetable vendors at Koyambedu (one of Asia's largest perishable goods market complexes, spread over an area of 295 acres) who willingly swung into action and donated fruits and vegetables. Although we were a bit apprehensive to approach them, almost all of them said it was for a good cause and generously donated all their rations for that day!
What goes around comes around!
- While we were busy giving to others, others gave back to us! In an act of kindness, SRM Dental College conducted a free dental check-up for our children on the 4th. Good dental health ensures that every other part of the body becomes healthy!
- Our little girls were invited to see Navaratri Golu at a wonderful benefactor’s home. They were very excited by the colourful lights and the arrangements, and had a nice meal of sweet payasam and spicy sundal.
Rally for a Cause
Sharing fruits with Gypsy children
Teach a skill
Vegetable vendors join our campaign
Raising rice for distribution to poor homes